Community Innovation

So you’ve got your new iPad and you’re starting to figure out which apps are going to be useful, which are going to be fun and which are going to be totally pointless.

You’ve probably had a load of recommendations from friends as to which games you can download to help you waste the most time and which apps are going to help you grow in your personal life.

But if you’re anything like me and using your iPad at work then there are a whole host of business and productivity apps out there…too many, in fact. This makes figuring out which ones are actually worthwhile a bit of a trial and error process, not to mention time consuming and also costly if you are spending money on apps that don’t live up to expectations.

To get you ready for Monday early and save your weekend, I’ve taken the work out of looking for the best business apps and so here are six that can also be used alongside your free Alfresco Mobile app and free 10GB Alfresco in the cloud account to really unleash the power of your tablet –

1. DocScan HD – Free

Simple but oh so effective. Great for scanning/photographing important paperwork in order to archive and/or annotate an electronic copy.
Use this app to take a photo of your document – the new iPad camera and retina display mean the quality is easily as good as a scanner. You don’t have to worry about framing the document perfectly, as this app recognizes where the corners are, so that you can trim, sharpen and also add notes to your document. When you’re finished, you can save your scanned document as a PDF, JPEG or ZIP and export via pretty much any way you like. You can email your scan or, even better, you can open it in Alfresco and upload to your appropriate site for further collaboration. With WebDAV compatibility with this app you can also save your scans directly into folders in your Alfresco in the cloud account.

Perfect for: Instant collaboration across virtual teams working on paper documents.

Annotate and share paper documents with virtual teams

2. iThoughtHD – $9.99 / £6.99

Great mind-mapping and flow chart tool, ideal for laying out your thoughts and ideas alone or in small groups to then share with your wider teams via the cloud. Having laid out your mind map you can open it in your Alfresco Mobile app to share in your cloud site. This way you can receive feedback or collaborate remotely until you have your final version. Again WebDAV is supported on this app too, so you can mount your Alfresco folders like a virtual external drive for quick and easy saving and sharing. iThoughtHD also lets you export your mind maps in a whole host of different file types, so that you and your team can work with them in many different ways.

Perfect for: Sharing your thought processes and mind maps in order to reach a joint decision on the best way forward.

Collaborate remotely at all stages of your project

3. iWork – $9.99 / £6.99 per app

The iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) is a clean, crisp and simple way of working with your documents whilst you’re on the move. If you need to tweak a presentation last-minute, adjust the figures in your finance spreadsheet or re-draft a white paper that you’ve been working on, then you can do all of this via your iPad. Whether you’ve had the documents emailed to you or you’re accessing them via your Alfresco sites and folders, you can make the amendments that you need before saving them back to your Alfresco Mobile app. This way, your colleagues, customers and partners can see and work with your amended version straight away. Don’t worry, your document version history will be safely saved within Alfresco so that you can easily revert to a previous version or produce an audit trail for the document changes made if necessary. The WebDAV functionality within the iWork apps provides the option of saving your documents straight back into your Alfresco folders.

Perfect for: Those important changes that need to be made and shared immediately, when you find yourself away from your desk, but armed with your trusty tablet.

Share spreadsheets, presentations and word documents via WebDAV

4. Amerigo – $1.99 / £1.49

Amerigo is a great browser tool because it allows you to download any document or file that you might come across while browsing on your iPad and save/send it in a way that’s useful to you. Other browsers, like Safari, may let you open a PDF or other basic document in a third party app and save to a cloud account like Alfresco, but the beauty of Amerigo is that you can grab literally any file from the internet, including music and video files and save them natively onto your iPad device. You’ll then have your own offline copy of the file, which you can open in your Alfresco Mobile app and store or share via the cloud.

Perfect for: Gathering research. If you want to get together a repository of information on a particular topic, you can save all the files you find on your subject to your Alfresco in the cloud account including media files such as videos from YouTube, meaning that you and your team can all access them from one central place.

Store and share media files

5. Idea Flight – Free (Idea Flight Enterprise – $9.99 / £6.99)

Idea Flight is a really useful app for sharing your presentations across multiple devices. As iPads become more and more commonplace at work and the proliferation of virtual teams makes it increasingly more difficult to get all the right people in the same room for a presentation, an app where one set of slides can be shared amongst many, simultaneously, becomes really productive. Alfresco Mobile is the app you want for collaboration while you’re putting your presentation together, but by opening it in Idea Flight as a ‘Pilot’ and inviting your ‘Passengers’ to join you via their own device, you can talk them through your slides guiding them through it in real-time using the helpful app.

Perfect for: Presenting via a conference call. Your ‘Passengers’ can sit back and listen whilst you control the slide transitions on their device.

Choose 'Pilot' or 'Passenger'

6. Notability – $0.99 / £0.69

A really great note-taking app that means you can carry your scribblings with you as well as save a lot of paper. Notability makes your iPad a really handy tool for taking down notes during meetings, allowing you to type notes, scribble them on the screen with a finger/stylus or a mixture of both. The really cool thing about notability is the feature that allows you to zoom in on a particular area of your note to write more neatly without taking up any more space on the notepad. Other features such as highlighting and different colour pens for annotation mean that this app really could be the end for the old-fashioned pen and paper.

Perfect for: Sharing your notes in Alfresco with your colleagues or store them for use later on or even for viewing on another device such as your laptop.

Take notes using a mixture of typing and handwriting

Each of these apps will help you get the best out of Alfresco Mobile and, in turn, Alfresco Mobile helps you get more out of each of these apps plus many others. What other business apps are you finding productive for doing great work?

Alfresco Mobile for iPad and iPhone is free, and gives you access to Alfresco, the leading open source content management solution. Don’t have an Alfresco account? Don’t worry, the Alfresco Mobile app allows you to create a free 10GB cloud account that you can start to use straight away to share, store and collaborate on all your files and documents, and do all this securely in the cloud.

Alfresco Mobile, in combination with the apps recommended above, will help turn your tablet into a killer business tool, and give you a great advantage when it comes to mobile working. Click here to find out more about Alfresco Mobile.

About the author

Jack Rogers

Product Marketing Manager for Mobile and Tablet apps. Gadget freak with a background in mobile gizmo marketing.

Leave a comment

  • Nics

    My essential iPad app for business is Beesy. It’s a great tool for my everyday life at work. help to sort out and don’t forget a thing on my differents projects. Very useful also in meeting with I can take note and send minutes at the end of the meeting by mail very quickly and easily.

  • Jeff

    Great post Jack,

    What about Must Do Today?
    It ‘s a useful app for productivity and time management.


  • Great list…further adding to this list I
    would like to suggest some more apps
    like Future Scheduler and Location Alerts Productivity apps (Paid).

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